Skill & Fitness levels

Here’s a quick guide to what we mean when we ask about your skill & fitness levels.


Maras mountain biking Tour

It’s a priority of ours to make sure we get you on the right trip. While being challenged is something we value, being totally out of your element is never fun. Part of making sure that your trip is the best that it can be involves honestly assessing your abilities.

Skill & Fitness Levels: MTB Skill Levels

You’ve been riding a mountain bike for a couple of years or less and you’re most comfortable on smooth single-track and wider, forgiving double-track. You like rides with scenic views; you like both ascending and descending on well-maintained, safe trails. You’re looking for an active but safe mountain bike vacation; you’re not into jumps, drops, super steep trails, rock gardens, roots or taking big risks on your bike.

You’ve got two plus years of experience mountain biking on single-track trails under your belt; you’ve gotten pretty confident behind the handlebars and are beginning to expand your mountain bike abilities. You like riding most types of terrain, and you’re comfortable both climbing and descending on single-track trails with smaller technical features such as rocky sections, small drops, and small steep sections. You aren’t trying to walk on most of the trail and are looking to take small risks with things like speed, jumps, rock gardens, and stair sets to improve your skills as a mountain biker.

Intermediate Tech:
You’ve got three plus years of riding on singletrack trails of all sorts with features such as rock gardens, steep sections, rolls and drops, roots, and small jumps. You are confident on the bike in most situations. You’re constantly looking to improve your riding skills and enjoy riding for extended periods of time climbing and descending in terrain of all sorts. 

Ten plus years of experience riding single-track, freerides and biking of all sorts. You live for steeps,  jumps, rock gardens, techy trails, long descents, big ascents and discovering new terrain. Mountain biking is one of your passions and you are ready and confident to do what you love in a new and challenging place.
You can handle anything we throw at you — jumps, rock gardens, steps, technical descents, tough ascents, etc. Biking is a central part of your life. For you, the bigger the challenge, the more excited you get.


Skill & Fitness Levels: Trekking Skill/Experience Levels

Trekking with Haku Expeditions means multi-day trips with camping. Our hiking trips are single day trips. 

   Novice Trekkers

  • For those who may have little to no experience trekking or may have never slept in a tent
  • For those who want to sleep under the stars but not for two full weeks — these are generally 3 to 5 day treks
  • Perfect for families or groups of  mixed-level friends
  • Beginner treks tend to involve shorter hiking days with less elevation gain. We take lots of breaks and our pace is casual
  • Fitness level 1-2
  • Examples: Lares, Callangate, and Llactapata


Adventure trekkers

  • For people who want extended time in the backcountry and to challenge themselves. Guests usually have been camping or been on extended day trips before 
  • These involve longer days and more strenuous trekking
  • Usually 3 to 7 days (and perhaps more)
  • Usually fully supported with horses to carry gear and an emergency horse
  • Perfect for groups of friends who want to cover ground at a decent clip
  • Fitness level 2-3
  • Examples: Ahobamba, Salkantay, Ausangate


Advanced Trekkers

  • For those who spend a good time of the year in nature doing multi-day adventure treks; perhaps you’re an alpinista or a rock climber 
  • For those who’ve got top gear and significant experience in adverse conditions
  • 7-12 or more days in the mountains doesn’t faze people on these treks. Usually, they think they start smelling good on day 4
  • Fitness level 4
  • Examples: Choquequirao


biking himalayas adventure

Skill & Fitness Levels: Fitness level for MTB or Treks

1 – Getting your heart rate up isn’t really your thing, and you rarely (if ever) exercise. Your idea of a perfect vacation is total relaxation: sitting on a beach, sipping a mojito, and just generally vegging out. 

2 – You don’t necessarily work out regularly but you aren’t averse to the idea of doing something active. Although you don’t exercise that often, you don’t necessarily consider yourself out of shape.

3 – You exercise one to two times a week but do not have a regular schedule that keeps you biking or doing other activities weekly. You don’t go to the gym or train for any specific sports but you lead a very active lifestyle by biking, hiking, skiing, or whatever it may be. You are relatively fit and have no trouble taking part in some kind of active sport. 

For biking: You tend to get tired after about 2-3 hours on the bike. For trekking/hiking: You prefer shorter hiking days like 3-5 hours.

4 – You exercise 3-4 times a week on a regular schedule and enjoy physical activities such as biking, hiking, skiing. You are constantly active and like to be fit and healthy. 

For biking: you enjoy climbs that are are moderately long and being on a bike for 3-5 hours in one day doesn’t get you too tired or fatigued. For trekking/hiking: You enjoy longer hiking days such as 5-8 hours.

5You exercise at least 4 times a week and are an avid athlete that is consistently in good shape. You’re more or less game for any kind of adventure. 

6 – You live and die for exercise, sweat, and suffering. You only want to climb higher, go farther, and prove how much of an animal you are. Steep climbs, long descents and big days are something you are looking to do more of and you can’t wait for your next adventure. 


enduro manizales colombia

Types and styles of MTB trails: 

Enduro/All Mountain:

Enduro mountain biking, also known as all-mountain biking, emphasizes technical ability. If you’re looking for a more adventurous ride, this is the kind of ride for you; usually, an enduro/all-mountain trail will involve adrenaline-pumping drops and jump sections with steep climbs and fast descents. 

Enduro riders need bikes that can take burly drops and rugged technical obstacles efficiently while still being light enough to climb with; they almost always use full-suspension bikes with wide tires and longer rear and front suspension travel. Dropper post is a necessity and standard. The front suspension can be anywhere from 140mm to 170mm. Full-face enduro helmets and body amour are a must for Enduro racing. 


DH riding – or Downhill riding — is regarded as an intense, extreme kind of cycling, made for advanced riders who love to navigate roots and rocks and huge drops with furious downhill speed. It requires a stellar sense of balance and technique and a bike with slacker geometry. 

The front travel for DH bikes is usually somewhere around 200mm with the rear measuring slightly less. Because they generally aren’t pedaled uphill, these bikes are rugged and heavy and usually have less gears. DH riders wear full-face helmets, goggles, and body armor. 

Cross Country (XC) or Backcountry Mountain Road (BMR):

Anywhere from old logging or fire roads to singletrack, Cross Country trails are generally longer or long distance with both ascents and descents. While trails may be somewhat technical with rock gardens and tight switchbacks, they generally do not have intense steep rock gardens like those you might find in DH or Enduro racing. On XC tracks you’ll find a range of trail types; usually they’re meant to test the rider’s endurance and technical skills. It’s perhaps the most popular type of mountain biking — there’s even an XC Olympic event.

Our Cross country trips take you from one spectacular destination to the next. They take you literally across the country you are visiting like our Andes to the Amazon where you travel from Cusco to the Peruvain Amazon. 

Our current XC trips are long distance on backcountry roads. If you are looking for XC singletrack, get in touch with us for a one of a kind MTB tour.

An XC bike is often lighter with a slacker head tube angle for better climbing ability and tends to not have a dropper post although the trend is changing. Usually it will be a hardtail or a full suspension bike with a smaller amount of suspension — 100-130mm.  

Most XC riders do not wear pads such as elbow or knee pads and wear a half-shell helmet.